Ashley Young nearing full fitness for Manchester United

 

Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced Ashley Young will be fit for Manchester United's Champions League clash with Real Madrid next month.

Young picked up a knee injury in the victory over Liverpool at Old Trafford a fortnight ago and Ferguson expected the England man to return for last weekend's draw at Tottenham.

The former Aston Villa man did not make it and there have been claims the injury is much more longer term that Ferguson first anticipated.

However, the United boss insisted Young is not far away from a return and will be fit to face Jose Mourinho's men.

"Ashley is not far away," said Ferguson.

"He has done a bit of training and he is on the road back."

Asked whether he would be fit for the Real Madrid games, Ferguson replied: "I am sure of that."

Ferguson also confirmed Jonny Evans would miss the FA Cup tie with Fulham at Old Trafford tomorrow a hamstring injury.

"It has taken a bit longer than we thought but he has done a bit of training too," said Ferguson.

"But the fact we have Chris Smalling and Phil Jones fit is a big bonus to us."

Meanwhile, Ferguson refused to discuss the furore around comments Gary Neville made about David de Gea on TV this week.

Neville was critical of De Gea's weak punch at White Hart Lane, which led to Tottenham's injury-time equaliser.

That led to claims from TalkSPORT presenter Richard Keys that Neville had been ordered to make the comments, which have been dismissed by all parties.

"I am not getting into that at all," said Ferguson.

"You have to listen to some idiots in the game."

Ferguson also skirted around Rafael Benitez's renewed claims of the Scot having undue influence on the Football Association.

"I am not bothered what Rafa says to be honest," said Ferguson.

"I have more on my mind."

Ferguson last night responded to the FA's demand to offer his 'observations' about post-match criticism of assistant referee Simon Beck at Tottenham.

He will find out on Tuesday evening whether the FA intend to bring a misconduct charge.

However, Ferguson is not entirely convinced the FA will see the matter his way.

"I wouldn't bet on that either. We will see what happens," he said.

Meanwhile, Ferguson spoke up in defence of Dimitar Berbatov, who returns to Old Trafford tomorrow following his summer departure to Fulham.

Signed for a club record £30.75million in 2008, Berbatov polarised opinion amongst the United support.

But Ferguson viewed the Bulgarian as a success.

"I don't think Dimitar was a failure here," said Ferguson.

"But I can see why he would polarise opinion. Some people like to see players running through brick walls all the time.

"Dimitar was not that type of player."

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